It's not a retaliatory review if guest ask for money first ?

Tracy418
Level 2
Seattle, WA

It's not a retaliatory review if guest ask for money first ?

A local guest booked our place claiming that they're visiting the area (then later I found out that they actually live in the area but that is a different story). By noon of the following day after having already stayed the first night she claims that the house was not clean and smelled like pet odor. Offered to have the cleaner come or myself come there to fix the situation but she was adamant against checking out and asking for the remainder of the night refunded. We agreed to refunding her the remaining nights if she checked out that day because I don't want someone who is unhappy about the place to remain but since she did not say anything about this the first night she arrived and stayed I cannot refund her the first night plus cleaning fee.  This refund was assisted by an Airbnb customer service representative which was what I asked the guest to do so she could get the refund appropriately. 

 

Turns out there was no pet odor or unusual cleanliness condition after she checked out so I don't know what that was about.

 

The guest requested for $300 (more than my payout for that night) a few days later which I declined. Immediately after I declined her resolutions request for money, she left a 1 star review. 

This was extremely hurtful to my listing since I have been hosting since 2014 as a superhost. Now my listing is under scrutiny because of this 1 star review.

I've been calling into Airbnb Customer service every couple days and messaging them without any response.

 

I was told by the first customer service representative that because the guest initiated the resolutions request and that I didn't, it is not considered as a retaliatory review even though my reviews before this were all 5 stars and my current guest loved the place enough to extend another month to stay ?

 

I wrote to customer service that if it is not considered as a retaliatory review then this leave hosts with little say in options when guests demand for money on the resolutions center. Hosts in the future would be expected to approve of any guest demand on the resolutions center in fear they can receive a retaliatory review and there is nothing we can do about it. I don't understand why the definition of a retaliatory review has to be a one-way street. 

 

I keep receiving responses that they appreciate me as a superhost but this is not what appreciation or support feels like after being a host on the platform for 10 years.

 

 

Tracy 

6 Replies 6
Rebecca
Community Manager
Community Manager
Suffolk Coastal District, United Kingdom

Hi @Tracy418 👋

 

It's been a while since you posted and I'm wondering whether you managed to get a resolution to your question? 

 

It'd be great to hear from you, so we can understand what the resolution was but also to support other Hosts who may have similar questions in the future. 😊

-----

 

Please follow the Community Guidelines

Hi Rebecca!

Airbnb reached out and told me that the guest's review does not violate their review policy and still does not qualify as a retaliatory review since the guest initiated the Resolutions request. There was nothing else they could do for me other than encouraging me to leave a response to that guest's review. This was extremely disappointing since this is our first 1 star review in 10 years of hosting. 

I have chucked it up as simply bad luck. I'm not sure what else we could have done differently-- force the guests to let me in to inspect whether the unit smelled like pet odor or not ? Don't think that would have resulted in a better outcome. This guest requested to book last minute for a same day check in for a short stay and this doesn't happen very often in our area. As a result of this bad experience, I have decided to increase the trip length and scrutinize last minute bookings, which won't help us in the algorithm or compete with the hotel industry, but this will at least decrease our chances of coming across guests looking for a free one night stay.  

Tracy 

Shelley159
Level 10
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Hi @Tracy418 

I have read your post and it's quite scary that this could happen. I'm trying to think what one can do to in future to sidestep this. If I understand your experience correctly, all we as hosts can do is to contact the resolution center first, before the guest does? It sounds like it would still have resulted in a negative review for you and Airbnb scrutiny, but you would have been able to have the negative review scrapped from your listing if Airbnb had accepted it as retaliatory.

If this is so, I will have to make a mental note to contact the resolution center immediately in any type of situation that could end like this. On the other hand, I would also be reluctant to contact the resolution center unnecessarily, because rankings are so automated. Who knows whether the algorithms will hold it against you if you have resolution queries. Really tough.

Hi @Shelley159!

Yes that is my understanding that it is only considered a retaliatory review from the guest if the host request for money first through the Resolutions Center. Now this guest did not cause any damage or do anything that I would have needed to ask for money so it would have been unethical in these types of situations where the guest follow house rules and left the place clean but is simply looking for a free one night stay. I hardly request for anything via the resolutions center even when guests stain linens or break dishes/glassware since I consider this as miscellaneous cost of running a short term rental as I don't want to end up being flagged as "that host" who nitpick every loss and could potentially affect future resolutions request when I really need it.

 

Tracy 

Tamsin26
Level 3
England, United Kingdom

Yes I agree with your statement:

 

"I keep receiving responses that they (Airbnb) appreciate me as a superhost, but this is not what appreciation or support feels like after being a host on the platform for ( in my case 😎 years."

 

I recently had a problem guest threatening me that "if I didn't give a full refund on a booked stay ( not due in accordance with my cancellation policy ) ...he would take matter's further"

 

He made up false allegations about my property. Without even contacting me .... Airbnb suspended both my listings and refunded him £468.

This was a guest with only 2 reviews, I have 8 years and 150 overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Instead of contacting me Airbnb took his word alone and shut down my listings .

I was unable to book a replacement stay. I lost £468.

I work so hard to make the place nice for guests stay, last year I reinvested all my profits into making improvements to my property, this is so disheartening.

 

Airbnb could have so easily supported me and contacted me and valued me!!!

 

John5097
Level 10
Charleston, SC

@Tracy418 

Thats nuts that guest or host can file a resolution request two nights after checking out. Sorry 48 hours after check out both host and guest can go pound sand. 

The policy should be if guest says the night they need to pay unless something is broken like no hot water or no heat or AC. 

I would be prioritizing a different booking platform. 

Policy like this are ruining it for all the great host and guest. it's not fair to other guest when one guest gets a discount or refund. I think that's what a lot of host, guest, Airbnb is missing... that it's really not fair to the other guest when one gets refund or discounts that the others don't. At least that's the reason I would decline. The review wouldn't matter as much. I just can't tolerate a double standard and policy of duplicity that would put other guest and host at a disadvantage. 

At least to me all my great guest means something.